Saturday, December 30, 2017

Best of 2017: Fiction

I started seeing Best of lists pop up at the start of December. At that point, I was nowhere close to being done with my reading for the year.  Who knows? The best book of 2017 could have been sitting on my TBR stack.  (In fact, it might still be there.....the TBR stack is always huge).

I'm ending the year having read somewhere around 285 books, which is pretty darn good for me.  It also makes it impossible to pick one or two - or ten- best books . So, in the next three days I'll be sharing the best fiction, non-fiction, and YA/Middle grade titles I've read this year.

My 2017 Fiction Round-Up:

1. Chilbury Ladies Choir by Jennifer Ryan- I read this at the beginning of 2017 and loved it.  Set during the war, this town's choir disbands when the men leave to fight, only to decide the women can have a choir of their own. Told partially in letters and diary entries, it reminds me a lot of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

2.  Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak- a group of teen boys main quest is to get their hands on an issue of Playboy with Vanna White in it.  Set in the 1980s, this is a blast from my past as it weaves in some computer programming and a little bit of tenderness.

3.  This Is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel - had I read the book flap I might not have picked this one up because I am sort of over the gender issue books. But thank goodness I didn't know what I was getting into. This is an amazing story of a family whose daughter was born as a boy.  

4.  We Were The Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter- possibly the best World War II book I read this year....Hunter writes a fictionalized account of her family's survival during World War II. If you didn't know it was based on a true story, you'd question how it could be true.

5.  Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult - I could have read this one as an ARC, but instead I saved it just to have less time between her books being published.  Picoult does a great job of presenting the story of a black nurse who has a white supremacist's baby die while on her watch. Of course the story is much more complicated than that, but Picoult is a master of developing a plot with no good answers.

6.  Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng - possibly better than her first novel, which is impressive, Ng's second book delves into the idea of motherhood in many ways.  A woman and daughter become entangled with a WASPy family as well as a custody battle over an immigrant woman's baby.

7.  Chemistry by Weike Wang - this is a little bit of a sleeper. I love how clever this novel is.  It's a short, quick read, but I feel like I could go back and re-read it and be amazed all over again.

8.  Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo  - this December read is worth all the hype it's been getting.  Yejide and Akin's marriage that began full of love, struggles as they can't have children.  Although they have agreed that they will not practice polygamy, after years pass without children, Akin brings home a second wife.

9.  The Windfall by Diksha Basu - is a fun novel about Mr. and Mrs. Jha, a couple who have finally struck it rich. As they try to impress their neighbors with their newfound wealth, a variety of calamities occur.  They just might have to come to terms with what really matters in life.

10.  This Could Hurt by Jillian Medoff - anyone who has been in the work force and understands the politics of how things work will enjoy this novel.  Narrated by a few different characters in an HR department, the central character, Rosa, is intelligent and interesting.  There's plenty of office drama to keep you reading until the end.  This Could Hurt will be published in 2018

A few other titles that nearly made the cut: 
The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson
Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny
The Heirs by Susan Rieger
Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong
Caroline: Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller

Tomorrow I'll share some fantastic non-fiction books (just a hint: that list was even longer and harder to whittle down) I read this past year.

Have you read any of these titles? What are your thoughts on them?


Ti said...

Little Fires is on my list as well. There were many good books this year. I think 2018 is going to be even better.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Great List, Ive read a few from you list. LOVED - Small Great Things and will be rereading it agin next month for my book group. Also Little Fires was so so good.

Kay said...

I haven't read any of your 'best', but have 2 or 3 available to me. I'm especially interested in Little Fires and the Chilsbury book. Tina, hope you and your family have a very happy new year! Always love hearing about the doings at your house and your precious girlies. I'm back to blogging tomorrow. :-)

Marce said...

I didn't do a top ten for 2017 but Small Great Things would have made my list. Happy New Year to you Tina.